Nestled at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, the small settlement of Glenorchy is a quaint slice of paradise with much to offer. From peaks to picnics, there is a spot in everybody’s heart for this idyllic little township. We’ve put together our Top 5 things to do in Glenorchy, so that your luxury stay in this beautiful corner of the world is packed full of exploration and memory-making experiences.
Just over the brow of the Southern Alps lies the iconic ‘’8th wonder of the world’’ as we Kiwis have coined it.
Accessing Fiordland by air affords you a peek at hidden lakes, jaw-dropping glaciers, and a bird’s eye view of the region. This really puts into perspective the sheer beauty and size of the natural landscape that you are part of.
Fancy putting your feet on the ground of magical Piopiotahi? Say no more. With options of secluded beach picnics and guided hikes, there’s more than one way to immerse yourself and make this an unforgettable experience.
There are plenty of spots for anglers of all levels here in Glenorchy. With clear flowing waters of surrounding rivers, there is an abundance of salmon, rainbow and brown trout. A fisherman’s dream. Options to take it easy on the lake or wade knee-high into rivers– our local guides can do it all, offering you their invaluable knowledge of the waters and backcountry landscapes.
Take a tour of famous filming locations and experience these firsthand. Glenorchy is the gateway to many scene locations for favourites such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit & Narnia. These will be showcased to you with as little or much theatrical pazazz as you like (dressing up for photos is not out of the question!). Experiencing the remote land in 4WD, our guides can take you to places you otherwise would only see on your TV screens.
Not for the faint-hearted, this trip takes you on a journey of 8 lines where you will soar above the thundering rapids and skim through the lush green canopy. Starting with an uphill nature walk, the guide will stop along the way to teach you about the local flora and fauna before arriving at your first zip line. You’ll zip across vast expanses with stunning views out to Mt Aspiring National Park before working your way through the forest lines to finish at the Blue Lagoon.
For those days when you want to take it down a notch, we suggest a short drive towards Paradise (yes, this is a real place!) where you will find the locally owned and ran Glenorchy Farm Park. Here the kids can meet and feed all sorts of animals from muddy pigs to cheeky alpacas. This is an enriching hands-on experience for the whole family.
With hundreds of kilometers of trails to choose from, Glenorchy is a fantastic starting point for many popular hikes.
One of New Zealand’s multi-day ‘’Great Walks’’, the Routeburn, can start or finish here. The Routeburn Nature Walk is a loop track ideal for those looking to experience the wonderment of this trail whilst still returning home to comforts at the end of the day. Combining a mix of beech forest, turquoise waters, and native birds, this really is a sensory sensation.
Staying closer to home, situated in Glenorchy Township itself is the Lagoon Walkway. This is a gentle walk along a well-formed track – enjoyable and easily accessible. A boardwalk intertwines into the wetlands where you will encounter lots of birdlife, so be sure to keep your cameras at the ready.
A little further afield you’ll find Lake Rere – a branch of the famous Greenstone Caples tramping trail. This 14km loop on relatively flat terrain is suitable for most (with a sturdy pair of walking shoes). Emerging from the forest you will find the picturesque Lake Rere before you – this perfect picnic spot shimmers in the sun as if it were topped with tiny diamonds. This is tranquillity at its purest.
Whether you want to indulge in a slower pace of life or dive headfirst into adventure, vacationing in Glenorchy means making memories that last long after your trip has finished.
If you’d like to explore some boutique accommodation in Glenorchy, we have some beautiful options available – don’t sacrifice on the luxury for your next stay, and indulge in somewhere special to rest after a day of exploring.
Full-Service Luxury Lodge
Rooms and Suites – Sleep 2
From $1565 per night (based on single occupancy)
Private Villa – Sleeps 8
From $13,800 per night (based on access to 4 bedrooms)
Blanket Bay is an iconic NZ property that has been voted one of the world’s best luxury lodges. Set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this prestigious property offers five-star facilities and unparallelled hosted service to its guests. Guests can choose from the relaxed intimate rooms in the main lodge, opt for a little more space in the private chalets, or step into world-class luxury in the four-bedroom villa. A daily changing menu ensures your tastebuds will be tantalised each night of your stay, and partner the cuisine with some handpicked local wines for a memorable dining experience.
From $6495 per person for a 6 day / 5 night retreat
Designed to regenerate your body and mind, Aro Ha Wellness Retreat creates programs to transform your physical and emotional health through changing daily habits. Waking to the beautiful chimes of a Tibetan bowl, you’ll begin your day watching the sunrise over the mountains from the lake view yoga studio. After a perfectly balanced and nourishing breakfast, you’ll explore the subalpine trails, immersing yourself in the transformative power of nature. Mindfulness practices will be interweaved throughout your day as you partake in carefully curated activities; from cooking classes to functional strength training. A beautiful an transformative experience.
Please note: Accommodation prices are accurate as of November 2022, but may be subject to change.